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HSE Calls On Construction Industry To Prioritise Health & Safety

Posted: 27/10/2017

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has urged companies in the construction sector to make the health and safety of their workers a priority after 43 employees were fatally injured in 2015/2016.

It has advised focusing on well-known risks such as falls from height, the control of harmful dusts (like respirable silica from concrete, wood dust and asbestos), work at height, materials handling, welfare provision, structural safety and good order.

The organisation points out that it’s a bit of a myth that certain health issues can’t be controlled in the sector. Harmful dust can be managed, for example, with appropriate design, training and equipment.

“My message to smaller businesses is don’t wait for an accident or a visit from an HSE inspector – learn from the success of others and act now.

“Nearly half of construction fatal accidents and injuries reported to HSE involved refurbishment work. Some small refurbishment sites continue to cut corners and not properly protect their workers resulting in an unacceptable number of deaths and injuries each year,” Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Construction and Director of Construction Division with the HSE, commented.

Further research from the HSE has shown that work-related ill health costs the UK economy more than £9 billion, with 26 million working days lost – hence why it’s such a priority for the watchdog. Over two-fifths of companies have reported a rise in cases of long-term ill health, with 80 per cent now saying that this problem is a priority within their business at the moment.

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